Understanding Minnesota Hit and Run Laws

In Minnesota, hit and run accidents are classified as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the accident details and personal injuries. A Minnesota personal injury lawyer can explain fines and/or jail time that’s associated with a hit and run accident.

Minnesota hit and run accidents are not considered premeditated actions. The actual crime occurs when the driver who hits another vehicle makes a conscious decision to leave or flee the scene of the accident. There are two types of hit and run accidents:

  • Driver vs. Driver – Minnesota law requires a driver involved in a car accident to stop his/her vehicle when safe and remain at the scene of the accident, even if the driver is not at fault. At the scene of an accident, drivers are required to exchange information including their names, addresses, date of birth, and vehicle registration with each other or the police.
  • Driver vs. Unattended Vehicle – If a driver hits an unattended vehicle, Minnesota accident laws state that the driver must make reasonable attempts to notify the owner of the vehicle. This typical means leaving contact information on the vehicle, notifying a neighbor who knows the owner of the vehicle, or notifying the police. Failure to make reasonable contact attempts can result in a hit and run criminal charge.

Minnesota Hit and Run Charges

Misdemeanor Charges

If a driver leaves the scene of an accident without leaving contact information, and there are no injuries, the driver can be charged with a misdemeanor hit and run. Penalties include a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail. The driver may also have his/her license suspended. If the accident results in personal injuries, the driver can face a fine of up to $3,000 and up to one year in jail. Minnesota Statute 169.09 covers this what precisely must be done if there is an accident.

Felony Charges

A hit and run accident that involves great bodily harm, defined by law as bodily injury that results in high risk of death, permanent disfigurement, or the loss of an organ, is charged as a felony crime that requires legal representation by a Minnesota personal injury lawyer. Penalties include a fine of up to $4,000 and up to two years in jail. If the hit and run involves the death of another party, the penalty jumps to a $5,000 fine and up to three years in prison.

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